Coalition for the Cultural Commons

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= as yet informal grouping

Purpose Statement

Cultural commoning is of its time. In a world where it is becoming clear that the everyday creative things we do have a value to us, to the social fabric and wellbeing of our communities and to the health of our democracies it offers an alternative approach to sustaining our lives. It builds on the creative abundance around us and enables peer to peer action and self reliance.  We live in an era when the consequences and effects of dominant economic, social and political paradigms are pressing upon people, damaging democracy and fomenting feelings of frustration, helplessness and despair. It is now when creating together, wisely and hopefully, matters most.

Cultural commoning plays a vital role in the wider commoning movement in a range of important ways:

  • It helps orient the culture of commoning away from only resisting negative forces towards providing alternative expressions of how we can be, do and learn in the world based on what we love to do and that which enhances our wellbeing
  • It supports diversity of participation in commoning across cultural identities and a safe space in whichto explore difficult issues
  • An effective, imaginative and engaging way to speak truth to power and to influence and inspire change
  • It has the opportunity to set an example for both individual and common wealth creation and stewardship.

For the above to be fully realised we need a healthy cultural life and a vibrant cultural democracy.

The main purpose of this group is to work out how to apply commoning approaches to the areas of cultural practice and policy that need to change and to encourage others to adopt and adapt them.

So we will be putting ideas for positive change into action with others.

We are looking to help make the following shifts happen:

  • From centralised hierarchical governance structures to more distributed ones
  • From fragmented and individualised plans to shared purposes and outcomes.
  • From rigid 'procurement', 'grant-aid' and 'sponsorship' relationships to more collaborative and enabling ones which support resources going to where the value is really being created.
  • From a focus on short-term, project based activity to developing longer-term cultural 'assets' and a collaborative creative economy.
  • From a ‘3rd sector’ to a Commons
  • From ‘The Individual’ to individuals within ‘society/nature’
  • From homogenous cultural products to various shared cultural processes and experiences as distinctive as the people who make them and the places where they are made.
  • From passive acceptance of a damaging status quo - ecological, social, economic -  to offering constructive, democratic challenge and speaking truth to power
  • From restricted, protected and enclosed cultural production and distribution to peer-to- peer and cooperative approaches, based on common ownership and fair licensing, which encourage invention, originality and a shared spirit of adventure
  • From a divide between between the cultural and the natural to recognition of the connectedness and coherence between them

Updates of this draft statement via

Latest News

Cultural Commons:(How) do we put it into practice in Medellin?

Report on two workshops organised in Medellin, Colombia on 21 and 22 June 2018 by Dr Penny Travlou (Edinburgh College of Art/University of Edinburgh, UK) and Platohedro, a local non-profit organisation, with the support of the University of Edinburgh (Research & Knowledge Exchange Grant Scheme) and Exploratorio, the interactive space of science and technology at Parque Explora.

Report in English:

Report in Spanish:


Current Phase

From 2018 onwards

Join us in discussion on Loomio (request to join)

Share your news and progress in cultural commoning at (request to join)

Want to talk live to a human - contact Kevin Murphy +447779092023 [email protected]

Phase 1

Original discussions took place in 2016 between, list compiled by Penny Travlou:

  1. Michel Bauwens (P2PF, Belgium/Thailand),
  2. Penny Travlou (academic/P2PF, UK/Greece),
  3. Marc Garrett and Ruth Catlow (Furtherfield, UK),
  4. Salvatore Iaconesi and Oriana Persico (Art is Open Source, Italy),
  5. Daphne Dragona (Transmediale, Germany),
  6. Eugenio Tisseli (Sauti Ya Wakulima, Spain/Tanzania),
  7. Felix Stalder (academic, Switzerland),
  8. Cornelia Solfrank (cyberfeminist artist, Germany),
  9. Binna Choi (Casco, Belgium),
  10. Dmytri Kleiner (Telecommunisten, Germany),
  11. Peter Doran (academic, North Ireland),
  12. Steven Kovats (Agency for Open Culture, Germany/South Sudan),
  13. Konrad Becker (Institute for New Culture Technologies, Austria).